OERs refer to "teaching, learning, and research resources that, through permissions granted by their creator, allows others to use, distribute, keep, or make changes to them". Licensing your work under an open license, such as the ones released by Creative Commons, gives you an opportunity to stipulate exactly how others can use and/or share it, while retaining intellectual property rights over it, including "copyright, trademarks, patents and other claims for ‘ownership’". As faculty and staff members, and perhaps even student employees, you should also be aware of your relationship with the university regarding intellectual property of your instructional and/or scholarly works, the specifics of which are outlined in the Intellectual Property Policy document.
A Creative Commons license can include the following elements; a tool is available that helps to choose an appropriate license:
- Attribution (by): this is required of all CC licenses
- Reusers can copy, distribute, display, and perform your work; as well as any other permissions given by you, as described below.
- NoDerivatives (nd): A reuser can copy, distribute, display and perform only original copies of your work
- ShareAlike (sa): if reuser modifies you work and wants to share their derivative work, it must be shared under your original or a compatible license
- NonCommercial (nc): Reuser cannot use your work for commcercial purposes
When people publish their work under an open license, they contribute to an existing body of OERs, which can then be used by anyone, provided that they reuse in a manner consistent with the terms under which they are published. In your own teaching activities, there may be opportunities for you to incorporate such work if they are relevant, high quality, and contribute to your stated learning outcomes. For indexing and searching, there exists portals such as OER Commons, OpenStax, Merlot, BCCampus OpenEd, and Canvas Commons. Open licenses facilitate the sharing of valuable knowledge and resources, as well as opens a door for potential research and collaboration opportunities.
It is no secret that textbooks are a major expense for students, and some students opt to not purchase textbooks due to cost. However, “education can’t be excellent if students aren’t fully equipped. The cost of textbooks shouldn’t be a limiting factor to their success.” At The Ohio State University, the Affordable Learning Exchange (ALX) heads an university-wide effort to make learning more affordable to students through the creation and/or adoption of OERs, per Dr. Drake's 2020 Vision on affordability, access, and excellence. Similarly, the College of Veterinary Medicine's "Be The Model" strategic plan calls for "Advancing Education and Student Success", which includes "[improving] the affordability and accessibility of veterinary medical education and increase the value of our programs." ALX regularly provides competitive grant funding for "transforming [one's] courses through open and affordable materials" - Teaching and Learning would be more than happy to work with you if you have an idea for submission!
Use the menu to explore some OER projects that have been developed here at the CVM; for more information about OERs: